JDC-Miller MotorSports Porsche 963 GTP retires from the 72nd Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring with left-rear axle issue

March 18, 2024

Savage, Minnesota

JDC-Miller MotorSports Porsche 963 GTP retired from the 2024 Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in the 6th hour with a left-rear driveshaft issue. The team put a strong car on the central Florida track all weekend, as demonstrated by setting the fastest overall time in Practice 2. They were optimistic for a strong finish when the issue occurred just past the halfway point of the race, completing 178 laps.

Through exceptional pit work from the crew, the JDC-Miller MotorSports team overcame being rear-ended in the left rear early in the race. They stayed on the lead lap and, in the ensuing hours, had worked their way up to leading the race shortly before the issue. With 58 cars on the 3.74-mile circuit, all three drivers carefully worked through the almost constant traffic while being fast and saving energy and tires for the late race charge. While disappointed with this finish, the team is very optimistic going forward to Long Beach and the rest of the 2024 IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship season. 

Quotes:

John Church, Managing Partner, No. 85 JDC-Miller MotorSports Porsche 963

“It is disappointing to end the race this way.  We had a very competitive car all weekend. The drivers and pit crew were doing great work, and our strategy was solid. We were running consistent lap times in the heat of the day and were ready to make a run when it cooled off in the evening. The plan worked very well, and we all felt good about our chances before the driveshaft issue. 

We recovered well from an early hit on the left rear corner. Our Porsche 963 was hit very hard in the left rear, so we will determine whether the contact caused the failure or if something else caused it.”

Richard Westbrook, Driver, No. 85 JDC-Miller MotorSports Porsche 963

“Obviously, it is disappointing. What makes it worse is that we had such a good car. We were running with the leaders and, for much of the time, were the strongest Porsche. We recovered quickly from the early contact, and everything was going well.

Our car was very good for energy saving and a car that was good over a double-stint. We were all set for the fight at the end but never got to show just how fast we were.”

Tijmen van der Helm, Driver, No. 85 JDC-Miller MotorSports Porsche 963

“I had a lot of pace. The car felt amazing, and it looked like we could get a nice finish here! But sometimes luck isn’t on your side, and that is racing. A big thank you to JDC-Miller MotorSports and my teammates Richard and Phil for their efforts, as well as to my sponsors, family, and, of course, all the fans.”

Phil Hanson, Driver, No. 85 JDC-Miller MotorSports Porsche 963

“Sadly, we had to retire the car due to a mechanical issue. Really disappointing end to our weekend as the car was flying and we were in the fight for a podium.”

JDC-Miller MotorSports finishes 6th at the Rolex 24 at Daytona

January 29, 2024

The JDC-Miller Motorsports Porsche 963 GTP came across the finish line after 24 hours
of racing in the 6th position. It was the team’s first attempt at a 24-hour race with the
Porsche 963. The No. 85 Porsche was fast from the start posting top times in practice.
At the start, JDC-Miller Motorsports driver Richard Westbrook moved up from his 9th
starting position to 2nd in his first session in the car. The drivers and crew performed
flawlessly throughout the 24-hour race, perfectly executing the team’s race strategy,
and late in the race was on the lead lap and in a very good position for a late charge.
Unfortunately, with less than two hours to go, the right-side driver’s door opened and
necessitated an unscheduled pit stop to close the door and repair the latch.

A Porsche 963 GTP was the car to have at this year’s Rolex 24, placing four cars in the
top six positions with the No. 7 Porsche Penske taking the checker by just 2 seconds
over the 2nd place Cadillac. JDC-Miller Motorsports Chief Engineer, Rick Cameron, was
a very proud father as his son Dane was one of the drivers of the winning car.

The No. 85 covered 2806 miles during the race averaging 133.354 MPH. The crew
flawlessly did 31 pit stops and 14 driver changes.

Quotes:

John Church, Managing Partner, No. 85 JDC-Miller MotorSports Porsche 963

“We had a better car today than our 6th place finish indicates. The car was strong from
the start I’m very proud of the crew and the drivers for their exceptional performance.
We are starting to get our arms around the Porsche 963 and it showed this weekend.
All the hard work building up to the race was very evident in the car, crew, and driver,
performance.

I’m very pleased with our driver line-up. They have really jelled as a group and were fast
and mistake free throughout the event. This bodes well for the rest of the 2024 season.
It was fun to have Ben Keating back with us as he is a great driver and a good fit for our
program. He adapted to the complicated 963 almost immediately.”

Richard Westbrook, Driver, No. 85 JDC-Miller MotorSports Porsche 963

“This was our first 24-hour race in the 963. We know how complex these cars are, so to
finish with just minor issues at the end, is really sweet, but a little bit bitter as well. We
just had a couple of niggles at the end that pulled us out of contention. The first half of
the race we felt like we had the weapons to take it to the fight. Later a couple of little
things unraveled. That’s racing. We will dust ourselves off and head to Sebring. But I
think it bodes well for a good year. The crew, I can’t say enough about them. Not one
mistake in pit stops. Drivers didn’t make any mistakes. I think JDC-Miller deserved
something a bit more. But that’s racing. Looking forward to Sebring.”

Tijmen van der Helm, Driver, No. 85 JDC-Miller MotorSports Porsche 963

“We had a fast car which is always fun. When I qualified the car, I thought “wow, this
thing is fast.” It felt really good to put down a lap under the old track record. Later in the
session others went a bit faster but it really showed we had the pace for the race. We
ran really hard for the entire 24 hours and were ready to make a run to the finish when
we had the door issue. Things are really coming together and I am looking forward to
the rest of the 2024 IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship season.”

Phil Hanson, Driver, No. 85 JDC-Miller MotorSports Porsche 963

Feeling bittersweet because at one point there we were running a strong fourth. We
were the second Porsche and had good pace. Unfortunately, a few issues along the
way prevented us from achieving the result that we think we deserved. Some door
issues late in the race kind of let us down, but lots of positives to take away. The team
did an excellent job. There were no mistakes. Reliability was fantastic. It ultimately gives
us a very good platform to build on for the rest of the year. It’s a little bit of a
disappointment that we couldn’t get the result that I feel we probably deserved today.
Congratulations to Porsche Penske for the win. It’s nice to see the Porsche 963 win
Daytona for the first time.

Ben Keating, Driver, No. 85 JDC-Miller MotorSports Porsche 963

What a great experience! I love working with this team. The whole GTP experience in
the Porsche 963 was a lot to learn and a lot to take in. I felt honored to be welcomed
into the team with open arms as the only Am driver to ever compete in the GTP class. I
always know that JDC-Miller Motorsports is going to give us a great car for the Rolex
24! We all wanted more than 6th place, but everybody did their job very well and that is
what the race gave us.

JDC-Miller MotorSports qualifies 9th for Rolex 24 at Daytona

January 22, 2024

JDC-Miller MotorSports qualified their Porsche 963 GTP in the 9th position for the first qualifying session of the 2024 IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship season. Tijmen van der Helm turned a 1:33.506 which was .85 seconds off the pole position averaging 137.060 MPH. Conditions for qualifying were close to ideal with cool sunny weather and a strong breeze down the front straight and a headwind going into the bus-stop.  All nine GTP qualifiers bested the previous overall prototype track record of 1:33.685 set by Oliver Jarvis in a Mazda DPi in 2019.

The team did a huge amount of work on the car in the days leading up to qualifying. These efforts came together on Saturday when Richard Westbrook was second fastest overall in Session 3 and Phil Hanson fastest overall in Session 4. Conditions for night practice were not optimum for lap-times so Hanson’s fast time held overnight.

Van der Helm, using extra caution in bringing the tires up to temperature and pressure due to the low ambient temperatures, turned his fastest on lap 7.

Quotes:

John Church, Managing Partner, JDC-Miller MotorSports #85

“We are very happy with where we are in regard to being prepared for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.  To be only 8 tenths off an all-time track record puts us in a very good place as we prepare for the race. All the other teams have been working very hard as well so it’s going to be a great race.”

Rick Cameron, Chief Engineer, JDC-Miller MotorSports #85

 “We ran to our plan. We don’t do special qualifying set-ups for a flyer lap that some teams do. Our goal is to put the fastest set-up we know how to do that gives the driver a fast car that he can work with. Tijmen did a great job adjusting to the conditions and turned a phenomenal lap.”

Tijmen van der Helm, Driver, JDC-Miller MotorSports #85

“I knew going into qualy that we had a fast car.  The team had done great work which Richard and Phil proved on Saturday afternoon. They put some pressure on me to get at least as much out of the car as they had. It was fun to see the kind of lap times we all ended up running. I’m really looking forward to the race!”

Richard Westbrook, Driver, JDC-Miller MotorSports #85

“Tijmen did a great job qualifying the really solid car the team gave him.  I’m very pleased with our progress so far. This team has a lot of experience from top to bottom.  Our driver line-up is very good. Both Tijmen and Phil have done this race twice before and what can you say about Ben Keating. Very fast and this is his 14th Rolex 24. Also running in LMP2 and put that car on the pole. Amazing guy.” 

Privateer Porsches Stake Their Claim at Roar Testing

January 20, 2024

JDC-Miller and Proton Competition Top the GTP Chart in the Afternoon Session

By John Oreovicz for IMSA

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – When it comes to pure numbers, Porsche has the Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship covered, supplying four of the 10 cars in the Rolex 24 At Daytona field.

Porsche is also the only one of four (soon to be five) manufacturers participating in GTP that currently sells cars to private customer teams in addition to fielding the two Porsche Penske Motorsport entries. Those customer Porsches proved their worth Saturday at Daytona International Speedway, as Phil Hanson turned the fastest lap of this year’s Roar Before the Rolex 24 test sessions in the No. 85 JDC-Miller MotorSports Porsche 963 in preparation for next weekend’s Rolex 24.

Hanson’s time of 1 minute, 35.216 seconds (134.599 mph) in the fourth sessions of track time since Friday paced a tight field in which the top five cars were clustered within about a quarter of a second. Neel Jani and Connor De Phillippi came closest to Hanson on Saturday afternoon, clocking identical 1:45.329 laps in Proton Competition’s No. 5 Porsche 963 and the No. 25 BMW M Team RLL BMW M Hybrid V8, respectively.

Hanson, a 24-year-old Englishman, was asked whether he felt the factory Penske Porsches that finished eighth and 10th in the same session were not yet showing their hand.

“I don’t think we’ve shown our hand yet, to be honest,” Hanson replied with a grin. “The JDC boys did a really good job of rolling out with a strong package this morning, and I think that showed in both practice sessions. We were very fast in the morning when my teammates drove, and that also translated into the afternoon.

“I think we’re in good shape, to be honest,” he added. “We’re just trying to learn as much as we can about the car. There are several other things we want to understand, foreshadowing the race weekend. There are going to be very different conditions, so we want to get as much data as we can now to adapt as best we can. The team is doing a really good job at the moment, and it’s nice to be at the front.”

JDC-Miller was the first customer team to campaign a Porsche 963, beginning in May 2023 in the race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. The team’s full-time drivers this year are Richard Westbrook and 2023 carryover Tijmen van der Helm, joined at the Rolex 24 by Hanson and last season’s Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) class champion Ben Keating.

Keating is performing double duty at Daytona, sharing the JDC-Miller Porsche in GTP while also anchoring the driver lineup in his full-time ride – the No. 2 United Autosports ORECA LMP2 07 in the LMP2 class. Keating was fastest in LMP2 in the Saturday afternoon session, notching a 1:39.047 lap (129.393 mph). Nicklas Nielsen turned the quickest LMP2 lap of the day in the morning with a 1:38.576 (130.011 mph) in the No. 88 Richard Mille AF Corse ORECA.

Keating shares the No. 2 car with Nico Pino, Ben Hanley and Patricio O’ Ward. United Autosports also paced LMP2 on opening day of the Roar, in the hands of Paul di Resta in the team’s No. 22 entry.

“Obviously it’s early in the process of going through this event, but it’s looking like we’re near the top,” said di Resta, whose No. 22 Daytona teammates are Daniel Goldburg, Bijoy Garg and Felix Rosenqvist. “We’re being naive in the sense that we’re just concentrating on ourselves, trying to make the best possible car with the philosophy we think, and hopefully that will enable us to battle for the win.”

Klaus Bachler managed the fastest GT lap of the day, recording 1:45.799 (121.135 mph) in the afternoon session in the No. 86 MDK Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R (type 992) that competes in the GT Daytona (GTD) class. Tommy Milner produced the day’s best lap in the GT Daytona Pro (GTD PRO) class in the morning, timed at 1:45.844 (121.084 mph) in the No. 4 Corvette Racing by Pratt Miller Motorsports Corvette Z06 GT3.R.

Porsche finished 1-2-3 in GTD in the Saturday afternoon session, a year after a difficult debut for the latest generation of the 911 GT3.

“I would definitely take it if next Sunday we would end up in this position,” Bachler remarked, looking ahead to the Rolex 24. “Nothing else to say – it was a good session for us, and the car felt really good. Last year was really hard for us; it was honestly the longest and hardest 24-hour race I’ve ever had. This is different this year, for sure.”

Roar activities were scheduled to continue Saturday evening with a two-hour session under the DIS lights. A final GTP session is set for 1:25 p.m. ET Sunday, just ahead of Rolex 24 qualifying for all classes starting at 1:55 p.m. Peacock has live streaming coverage of the Sunday practice and qualifying.

The 62nd running of the Rolex 24 takes place Saturday, Jan. 27. Flag-to-flag coverage is available on the NBC Sports platforms, with the race start airing live on NBC network beginning at 1:30 p.m.

JDC-Miller MotorSports Porsche 963 GTP program ready for Rolex 24 at Daytona and 2024 IMSA WeatherTech Championship season

January 13, 2024

JDC-Miller MotorSports had a very productive off-season and is highly confident regarding its prospects for the Rolex 24 and the 2024 IMSA WeatherTech Championship season. The team has put together a very solid driver line-up for not only the Rolex 24 but the entire IMSA WeatherTech Championship season. A recent Daytona test confirmed the team’s confidence in its position going into the upcoming season.

All the team’s 2023 partners and sponsors are back on-board for 2024. This includes
Porsche Motorsport NA and its affiliates as well as Trofipack, S3S Saltworks, Wiha
Tools, OMP, and Justice Brothers.

The driver line-up brings considerable Rolex 24 experience. Richard Westbrook returns
to Daytona where he made his first start in 2007, also in a Porsche. He has competed in
the race 16 times. Ben Keating has competed in 14 consecutive Rolex 24 hour classics
and for the 8th time in two different cars. He will again this year be participating in two
classes, GTP and LMP2. Both Phil Hanson and Tijmen van der Helm have previously
competed in the Rolex, Hanson in 2018 and van der Helm in 2023.

The JDC-Miller Motorsports Porsche 963 GTP will wear car number 85. 85 is the
number it ran for several successful years, including a Rolex 24 class win in 2016.

Quotes:

John Church, Managing Partner, JDC-Miller MotorSports

“What a difference a year makes. Last year at this time so much was unknown. We
knew all the GTP teams would have a steep learning curve with the new hybrid
platform. Our challenge a year ago was that we didn’t know when we would start down
that road and so many decisions and activities could not be kicked off until the car was
in our hands. Once the car arrived for the 5th round of the season at Laguna, everyone
involved did tremendous work to catch up with the other teams as well as learn as much
as possible about the new cars, especially the Porsche 963. A huge thank you to our
people as well as Porsche Motorsports and its partners on both sides of the Atlantic for
their stellar effort.

Almost everyone involved with the team in 2023 has returned for 2024. Tijmen van der
Helm is returning from last year and is getting faster with each race. We are incredibly
happy to have Richard Westbrook and Ben Keating returning from our 2022 DPi effort.
Ben will be doing double-duty in both prototype classes. For such a young man, Phil
Hanson has a tremendous amount of experience in WEC including a Le Mans class win
and an LMP2 championship. We are starting the new season with a great knowledge
and experience base which these days is critically important. This will allow us to make
another step forward as a team. “

Tijmen van der Helm, No. 85 JDC-Miller MotorSports Porsche 963

“I’m really looking forward to the 2024 IMSA WeatherTech Championship season. In
2023 everything was new to me. The team, the cars, the series, and especially all of the
tracks. For the coming year I can build on all that I learned last year and concentrate on
going faster and winning races.

The team now has experience with the Porsche 963 GTP and I am confident that
together we can turn that into results.”

Richard Westbrook, No. 85 JDC-Miller MotorSports Porsche 963

“Can’t wait to kick the 2024 season off and I’m so happy to be back with JDC-Miller
MotorSports and racing in IMSA again. It was nice to get a feel for the 963 in December
and the car felt really balanced. It was also really nice to work with Tijmen and Phil and,
of course, Ben again where we shared the DPi in 2022 and ended with a fantastic
podium. It’s going to be a long hard season but nothing better than kicking it off with a
strong result at the Rolex 24 at Daytona.”

Phil Hanson, No. 85 JDC-Miller MotorSports Porsche 963

“I’m excited to kickstart my year at the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The race never disappoints,
and competing for the overall win only adds to the spectacle. It will be my first race
weekend with JDC-Miller MotorSports. In the past few years, the team has a history of
strong races at Daytona so I’m keen to see what we can bring to the fight.”

Ben Keating, No. 85 JDC-Miller MotorSports Porsche 963

“I am thrilled to return to JDC-Miller MotorSports for the Rolex 24. The experience of
getting an overall podium with the team in 2022 was incredible. I think it went well
enough that both the team and I were eager to do it again. The Porsche 963 GTP is a
lot of car to figure out. Part of the thrill is that it is a very different experience from just
hopping in a GT car and driving fast. I am honored that the team is allowing me to be
the only Bronze-rated driver to ever compete in an LMDh/Hyper car. I think my LMP2
championships have earned me the right to be here, but it still is a big step and a big
responsibility. I am excited and nervous, which is very close to the same emotion! The
anticipation is incredible.”

JDC-Miller MotorSports renews partnership with Wiha Tools for 2024 IMSA WeatherTech Championship season

January 10, 2024

JDC-Miller MotorSports is pleased to announce that it has renewed its partnership with Wiha Tools for the 2024 IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship season. Wiha has considerable expertise in tools for high voltage applications such as the Porsche 963 GTP’s hybrid system.  This expertise makes Wiha a perfect fit for JDC-Miller MotorSports 2024  WeatherTech Sportscar Championship GTP class campaign with the Porsche 963.

The collaboration between JDC-Miller MotorSports and Wiha Tools began prior to delivery of the team’s Porsche 963 in early 2023 as the team recognized the challenges of working with high voltage applications. Wiha not only provided the team with a complete line of insulated tools, they also provided expertise to the team. The outcome of this collaboration is the team mechanics work safely and more efficiently.  

Founded in 1939 by Willi Hahn in Schonach, Germany, Wiha Tools, is recognized for producing high-quality, durable, hand tools trusted by professionals worldwide. The company has over 3,500 products and a global workforce of more than1,400 people. JDC-Miller MotorSports is excited about its continued partnership with Wiha Tools and the prospects to expand Wiha’s presence in the dynamic world of motorsports.  

Quotes:

John Church, Managing Partner, JDC-Miller MotorSports

“Wiha Tools is a great partner to JDC-Miller Motorsports. What is a more fundamental need in professional motorsports than great hand tools? Our partnership with Wiha started strong and just keeps getting stronger. They have a great product and are great to work with.”

Wade Krinke, VP of Marketing and Product Development, Wiha Tools

 “Last year was an incredible opportunity for us to break into the endurance racing scene with JDC-Miller Motorsports, and we’re thrilled to be back for 2024. Our product provides the team with the peace of mind and capability to get the job done.  We’re confident Wiha tools will ensure speed and success come race day.”  

Josh Kerrigan, Lead Mechanic, JDC-Miller MotorSports

“Initially it was Wiha’s line of insulated tools that got my attention. Wiha Tools met an immediate need we had for working on the high-voltage hybrid system we are using in the GTP class of the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship. We have been using Wiha’s complete hand tool line for more than a year and really enjoy the safety, comfort, and capabilities, of our Wiha tools.  We all use them every day.”

Phil Hanson Joins JDC-Miller MotorSports With 2024 Porsche 963 GTP IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup Program

October 24, 2023

Talented sportscar racing driver Phil Hanson is delighted to announce that he will join JDC-Miller MotorSports’ Porsche 963 GTP program for all five 2024 IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup events.

Phil has had an impressive career in endurance racing, despite being just 24 years of age. He was the first driver to win the FIA World Endurance Championship (LMP2), European Le Mans Series, and the Le Mans 24 Hours (LMP2) all in the same year.

He is also the youngest driver ever to win an FIA WEC title, the youngest British driver to win LMP2 at Le Mans, was the youngest Asian Le Mans Series LMP3 champion, the youngest European Le Mans Series outright race winner, and youngest outright Asian Le Mans Series championship winner.

So far this season, Phil has recorded three podium finishes in the FIA WEC and taken a victory in the European Le Mans Series, and is no stranger to IMSA racing, having already raced in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring, and 6 Hours of The Glen.

Ahead of the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, JDC-Miller MotorSports was named as the first customer team to run the Porsche 963. Entered in the series’ new GTP class, it scored four top-five finishes, despite running a partial season campaign.

Quotes:

Philip Hanson, No. 5 JDC-Miller MotorSports Porsche 963

“I’m very excited to be joining JDC Miller Motorsport for the 2024 IMSA endurance races! After my first taste of IMSA back in 2018, I am thrilled to be back in the IMSA paddock and above all, to be making my debut in the GTP class with JDC’s 963 Porsche. I can’t wait to see what we can achieve.”

John Church, Managing Partner, JDC-Miller MotorSports

“JDC-Miller MotorSports is very pleased to announce Phil Hanson will be driving our Porsche 963 GTP in the 2024 IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup events. We have been following Phil’s career for quite some time and his accomplishments are very impressive. He is a proven winner at the top levels of sports car racing and will be a great addition to the team. It will be fun to see what Phil can accomplish in a Porsche 963 GTP. JDC-Miller MotorSports is excited to take Phil to success at the next level of his already impressive career.”

Volker Holzmeyer, President and CEO Porsche Motorsport North America

“We are very proud of what JDC-Miller MotorSports achieved in their first season of racing the Porsche 963. They were the first to make the commitment to take on the challenge of customer racing in the GTP class. Each week we learned more together, and I see no reason this won’t continue into 2024. To attract a driver the caliber of Philip Hanson to the team speaks well of the program that has been built. I think we will see the true potential of customer race teams show against the works programs in the class. This is like what we saw in the 1980s with the 962 and that speaks well for the future.”